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120                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP.
hundred miserable victims, most of whom were crucified,
and some still alive. These unhappy creatures had been
lured to their doom by a blind man, who used to stand
at the end of the lane leading to his house crying out,
" May God pardon him who will take the hand of this
poor blind man and lead him to the door of his dwelling
in this lane! " The vengeance taken on the owner of
the house and his accomplices was swift; and afterwards
ibn Attash himself was paraded through Isfahan and
crucified, arrows being shot at him to increase his
sufferings. If ever an agonising punishment is justifiable,
that of ibn Attash was well deserved. Yet, owing to the
death of Sultan Mohamed in A.D. 1118, these accursed
heretics were not extirpated, but on the contrary gained
possession of fortresses in Syria and in every part of
Persia.
It is related that Sanjar intended to attack Alamut,
and had marched several stages towards it when one
morning, on waking up, he found a dagger stuck into the
ground near his bed. Attached to it was a paper with
the following written menace : " Sultan Sanjar, beware !
Had not thy character been respected, the hand which
stuck this dagger into the hard ground could with greater
ease have struck it into thy soft bosom/' Apparently
the threat had the desired result, for the Great Seljuk
abandoned his undertaking.
The Ghorid Dynasty, A.H. 543-612 (1148-1215),
The Ghorid dynasty which held sway in the mountains
between Herat and Ghazna calls for a short notice.
Mahmud reduced the principality, and its princes continued
to rule under the Ghaznavid monarchs, with whom they
had intermarried. Bahram Shah, the reigning Ghaznavid,
executed a member of the Ghorid family, whose death
was avenged by the capture of Ghazna in A.H. 543 (i 148)
and the expulsion of Bahram Shah. This prince, how-
ever, recovered his capital by means of a conspiracy, and
treated Sayf-u-Din, brother of the Prince, with extreme
cruelty and insult, parading him through the city and
then crucifying him. Six years later Ala-u-Din, the
reigning Ghorid Prince, exacted the fullest retribution,